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Thrills for the week

May 16
An isle seat: The Haitian experience is brought to life by the stunning poeticism and unshakably truthful voice of author Edwidge Danticat, whose vivid, considerable storytelling skills shape the nine short stories in Krik?
Krak!, her recent short-fiction collection distinguished in the industry by a National Book Award nomination. The Haitian-born Danticat will read from and sign Krik? Krak! tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. Call 322-7727.

Lime Creek twist: Actor Anthony Zerbe has a thing for the works of Colorado poet Joe Henry, whose inspiring song lyrics have touched the lips of John Denver, Emmylou Harris, Roberta Flack and Trisha Yearwood, among others. Henry's forays into fiction have won him various fellowships and awards, and his words have been published in One World, One Child, a book of international photography. Now Zerbe has put together an evening of music and spoken word based on characters from Henry's unfinished epic novel, Lime Creek. The actor also stars in and directs the Denver Center Theatre Company production, titled Prelude to Lime Creek. The unique performance opens tonight at 8 in the Ricketson Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; the show continues daily except Sunday through June 8. For showtimes and tickets, $26 to $30, call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS.

Osborne again: Talk about your rising stars. Joan Osborne, who only a few years ago stumbled on stage for the first time during an open-mike session in an Abilene bar, bucked comparisons to Janis Joplin--and the attendant roots rut implied--to hit it big with her down-to-earth anthem "One of Us" and garner a handful of Grammy nominations. The forthright, wavy-haired belter headlines tonight at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl.; G. Love & Special Sauce warm up the audience at 7:30 with an updated crossover blues sound. Admission is $17.50 plus service charges; call 830-TIXS to reserve seats.

May 17
All together now: Inspired by the Julia Cameron bestseller The Artist's Way, which promotes interaction between artists and discussion on the creative process, Boulder-based Helander & Company Dance Theater hosted an ongoing cross-media workshop whose members included dancers, musicians, and visual and performing artists. A resulting cabaret presentation, Surprise Me!, consisting of new works by the company, interarts collaborations in different configurations and a debut performance by Helander's Junior Dance Theater, can be seen tonight and tomorrow night at 8 in the Charlotte Irey Theater, University Theater Building, CU-Boulder campus. For information or to reserve tickets, $10, call 473-9438.

May 18
Wheel deal: There's plenty of room to peddle, scoot and amble at the American Heart Association's HeartRide Roll 'n' Stroll benefit, taking place this morning on runways at the old Stapleton International Airport and trails at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Featuring a variety of bike and in-line skating courses ranging in length from 5 to 62.5 miles, as well as a 5K nature walk at the arsenal, the event begins at 8 a.m., with incremental starts commencing, depending on course length, through 9:45 a.m. Beginning, youth and adult in-line skating lessons for the un- or under-initiated will also be offered at Stapleton between 8 and noon. Participants are advised to enter the airport at 26th Avenue and Syracuse Street; shuttles will be available to and from the arsenal beginning at 8:30. Adult entry fees are $15 plus a minimum of $15 in pledges ($15 only for children under fourteen); for details call 359-5433 or 1-800-242-8721.

You are there: If you've ever had a hankering to find out where Denver's artists hang out, live, work and play, the Alternative Arts Alliance Open Studio Tour, held from noon to 5 today and tomorrow, is the event for you. Over seventy painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramicists, printmakers and more will swing open their studio doors to the public during the tour, which features a separate self-guided ramble each day (visit studios south of Colfax today and north of Colfax tomorrow). Guidebooks will be available at several sponsor locations, including City Spirit Cafe, Denver Art Supply and the Wynkoop Brewing Company downtown, and Greens, Luna Tango and Pasquini's in south Denver; for AAA information and other sponsor locations, call 433-9359.

May 19
Around the world in eight hours: You won't have to pack a bag to tour the world today--at the Norwest CultureFest, you can sample chow from Mexico, India, the Philippines or Caribbean islands; admire ethnic arts from Africa or South America; and listen to Celtic music, Delta blues, Japanese koto, a Balkan choir or a salsa band. If you're a kid, you can learn to make rhythm rattlers or animal masks with the World Art Explorers. And that's just a cross-section of the goings-on, which take place from 11 to 7 on the University of Denver campus between Asbury and Evans avenues. Best of all, the entertainment and browsing are free; for more information call 871-4626.

The Dwight stuff: He's a sultry man, Dwight Yoakam is, a burning hot coal. Wolf-eyed under his big-brimmed hat, Yoakam resurrects old country, Western swing and rockabilly music traditions with a strident, contemporary rocker's energy that few performers can--or even try to--replicate. Yoakam's 1996 Gone Tour swings through Fiddler's Green, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., tonight at 7:30, with David Ball opening; call 830-TIXS for tickets, $17.50 and $22.50.

By the Bly: Poet, author, translator, editor and controversial men's-movement advocate Robert Bly carries his provocative theorizing of Iron John to the next level by illustrating through mythical stories and fairy tales that contemporary American culture precludes old-fashioned maturity. Bly will discuss and sign The Sibling Society, his new work that portrays modern adults as a bunch of whining, finger-pointing, selfish little kids, today at 2 at the Boulder Public Library Auditorium, 1000 Canyon Blvd., and later at 7 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. Both events are free; for information, call the library at 441-4114 or the Tattered Cover at 322-7727.

May 20
Standard reissue: In this brave new world, the jazz standard according to vocalist Cassandra Wilson might be "The Last Train to Clarksville" or "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." So be it. Wilson's smoky, controlled stylings transform everything she touches--from blues tunes by Robert Johnson and Son House to an unadorned, jangling remake of Billie Holiday's stark "Strange Fruit"--into fresh classics for modern times. This diva for the '90s performs tonight at 8 at Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax; saxophonist Courtney Pine joins Wilson for a not-to-be-missed evening. Tickets are $15; call 322-2308 for reservations and information.

May 21
Down on the farm: Eight friends lay the details of their lives and loves on the table of a country farmhouse in the Western premiere of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Love! Valor! Compassion!, which opened Friday at the Theatre on Broadway, 13 S. Broadway. Theatre on Broadway fans can enjoy the new production and help the venue out by attending a special fundraising performance and cast reception tonight at 7; proceeds will go toward a down payment on the purchase of the theater's building. Tickets are $35 ($50 couple) tonight or $16 to $18 for regular performances, which continue Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June 29. For information or reservations call 860-9360.

May 22
Straight talk: Former Democratic senator and presidential candidate George McGovern removed his political hat to write Terry: My Daughter's Life-and-Death Struggle With Alcoholism, a personal account of his daughter's history of substance abuse and her subsequent death at the age of 45. McGovern will discuss and sign copies of the memoir, based on journals, letters, interviews and official records, tonight at 5 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. Copies of the Random House tome go for $21; pick yours up early in case there's a crowd. For details call 322-7727.


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